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Which Players Might Be Traded At The Draft?
As always, draft day has produced a wave of trade rumors. We examine who could be on the move and who may be of interest to the Rangers...

Tomas Kaberle is once again at the forefront of trade conversations

Tomas Kaberle is once again at the forefront of trade conversations

As the draft approaches the trade rumor mill has begun to churn over-time.  Each year significant players are moved as the draft provides a valuable currency, picks, and a unique forum for team executives to mingle.  In recent years, some big names have moved on draft day.  In 2006 Roberto Luongo, Todd Bertuzzi, Alex Tanguay, Jordan Leopold, Pavol Demitra, and Tuukka Rask changed homes; in 2007 Florida acquired Tomas Vokoun; in 2008, Olli Jokinen and Mike Cammalleri were dealt, and last year the Philadelphia Flyers acquired Chris Pronger.  So while all the chatter leading up to the draft usually goes unfulfilled, there is certainly franchise-changing activity every year.  With that in mind, we look at some of the big names who may change teams in late June.

Tomas Kaberle- It seems that Kaberle has been the subject of trade rumors forever.  Could this draft finally be the end of his time in Toronto?  It’s certainly possible, but Brian Burke’s demands, a second-round pick and/or impact forward, seem to be a bit farfetched at this point.  Burke likes to build from the blue line out, and he’s collected a surplus of defensemen.  If he sees a reasonable offer, it would make sense for him to accept.  It won’t be from the Rangers though.

Jason Spezza- Spezza has the talent to be a top center in the NHL, but thus far his career has been a disappointment.  Spezza’s attitude and commitment have been questioned frequently and there are rumblings that Ottawa has grown tired of his act.  A change of scenery could be exactly what both parties need.  Spezza’s situation is somewhat reminiscent of Joe Thornton’s with Boston, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him flourish in a new city.  Ottawa could be interested in moving him, but the price would probably be fairly steep.  However, if Ottawa’s problems with Spezza are as deep-seeded as some believe, perhaps he could be had at a discount.  Glen Sather will certainly monitor this situation, but unless Wade Redden is buried in the minors or Michal Roszival (plus more) go the other way, he won’t be able to make the deal.

Sheldon Souray- Souray is possibly the only player mentioned in trade rumors more often than Kaberle.  Souray’s injury problems have diminished his value, but he is still an elite power play quarterback.  The Rangers are constantly linked to Souray, but whether they have legitimate interest is unknown.  Souray has two years and nearly $11 million left on his contract, so if Sather were interested in acquiring the 33 year-old defensemen, Redden or Roszival would have to be moved or demoted. 

Kris Versteeg/Patrick Sharp- One of the Blackhawks duo is likely to be dealt this offseason given Chicago’s cap woes.  The draft is the most sensible time for Chicago to pull the trigger on a deal, as they will seek to add young prospects who won’t count against the cap.  The whole league knows about Chicago’s problems, so GM Stan Bowman will have an expensive phone bill leading up to the draft.  Either player will probably cost a second-round pick.  Sather again will be very interested, but since Chicago can’t take any money back, it would be difficult for him to complete a trade.  Sather might be willing to part with his second-round choice, but that would be a very controversial decision given the Rangers “commitment” to growing from within and lack of a third-round pick.

Tim Thomas- The Bruins have made it clear that Tuukka Rask is their goalie of the present and future.  Despite Thomas’s success in Boston, his time there is at an end.  If Boston can find a taker for the last three years, $15 million of his contract, they will jump on the offer.

Cristobal Huet- Just like the Bruins, the Blackhawks have handed the reigns over to a young goalie in Antti Niemi.  Huet’s contract makes it unlikely that he is movable, and Chicago may be forced to bury him in the minors.

Carey Price/Jaroslav Halak- The Canadiens insist that they want to keep both of their young netminders, but their financial situation make that an unlikely scenario.  Either would command a hefty return, and as we wrote a few weeks ago, the Flyers would be very interested.  If Price or Halak is traded at the draft, it would be the most significant news of the day. 




Posted by Kevin Baumer | June 13, 2010 at 08:57 pm

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